Friday, July 22, 2011

jQuery, Data-link, Knockout.JS and Microsoft

In may 2010 Microsoft contributed the template and datalink plugins to jQuery. The announcement was made on Scott Guthrie's blog:

On October 4 Scott G, Boris Moore and John Resig all announced these as official jQuery plugins.

One of the comments in Scott's post suggested that his team should be working with Steve Sanderson as well.  Sanderson is the guy behind the Knockout.js templating and data-binding library.

In November 2011 Steve Sanderson announced he was joining Microsoft's ASP .NET team in the Web Platform and Tools (WPT) Developer Division.

From this, and taken together with their recent Windows 8 preview, it appears that Microsoft has an interest in promoting advance templating and data-binding for application development on the web stack of Javascript / HTML / CSS, and may put their weight behind Knockout.JS in spite of the "official" status of the jQuery Templates and Data-Link plugins.

There is significant overlap between these libraries. In fact, Knockout.JS works closely with the jQuery Template plugin. However, it provides features that are missing from the jQuery data-link plugin and seems more well-suited to the new features of HTML5.  It looks like Knockout.JS used together with jQuery Templates could become a leading contender in client side templating, with jQuery and Microsoft's support.

There are many others that also look promising, including AngularJS, BackboneJS, and some that are still in development such as batman.js from Shopify.  It will be interesting to see how these shake out over the next year or so.

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